The Ridiculous Number Of Recipes Papa Murphy's Tested For Its Pizza Dough

The concept of take-n-bake pizza — where you buy a pre-made pizza and bake it in your own oven — is a brilliant idea. For starters, you can simply heat it up when you're ready for a meal. Plus, it's often cheaper than a take-away pizza fresh out of the oven at the local pizzeria, which may need to be reheated by the time you arrive home. 

Papa Murphy's is famous for its Take-N-Bake pizzas, with about 1,300 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. According to their website, the establishment is considered the 5th largest pizza franchise in the world. Papa Murphy's started out as two separate pizza chains, Papa Aldo's and Murphy's Pizza. They were bought out and merged in the 1990s to create what we now know as the grab-and-go, heat-at-home pizza joint.  

Murphy's Pizza founder Robert Graham initially owned a convenience store in Petaluma, California. While talking with a vendor who sold uncooked pizzas, he got the idea of potentially selling pre-made, un-baked pizzas too (per Funding Universe).

Determination and lots of trial and error

Before Graham decided to launch his own pizza parlor of uncooked pizzas, he first had to address the challenges that come with customers baking pizzas in their home ovens instead of an industrial restaurant oven. Baking a pizza in a home oven may seem like a small detail, but it makes a huge difference — especially since most restaurant ovens bake pizzas at 600-degree temperatures or higher, per Funding Universe.

When Graham asked the vendor about how he made the dough, he quickly realized that it wasn't going to be easy to get the information. In fact, the vendor offered him the recipe for $10,000. However, instead of scratching this new business idea and handing over so much cash, Graham dedicated himself to recipe development until he came up with something that would work. 

Graham tried some 250 recipes before settling on a pizza dough that could be baked at 425 degrees in a conventional home oven. It certainly took a bit of trial and error to figure out the perfect way to make pizza dough that doesn't require a 600-degree oven. Next time you're in the mood to bake some Papa Murphy's pizza in your own oven, think about all the hard work and experimentation that made it possible.